Friday, May 24, 2013

Spooky Action Over Time

Whenever I read about quantum mechanics I feel like I have an IQ of  about 1.  Nonetheless, even though I don't understand 90% of it reading about various aspects of "spooky action at a distance" is a great mindblower.

From Wired...
Physicists have long known that quantum mechanics allows for a subtle connection between quantum particles called entanglement, in which measuring one particle can instantly set the otherwise uncertain condition, or “state,” of another particle—even if it’s light years away. Now, experimenters in Israel have shown that they can entangle two photons that don’t even exist at the same time.

[A lot of stuff in between that I don't understand...]

So what’s the advance good for? Physicists hope to create quantum networks in which protocols like entanglement swapping are used to create quantum links among distant users and transmit uncrackable (but slower than light) secret communications. The new result suggests that when sharing entangled pairs of photons on such a network, a user wouldn’t have to wait to see what happens to the photons sent down the line before manipulating the ones kept behind, Eisenberg says. Zeilinger says the result might have other unexpected uses: “This sort of thing opens up people’s minds and suddenly somebody has an idea to use it in quantum computing or something.”

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